What About Human Rights – Does Anyone Really Care?
Human Rights are an area of great concern, surely, for all who strive to be politically correct, but they are even more so for regular people who have goodness in their hearts and cringe at the thought of people being oppressed, beaten, raped and murdered. The thought that people in this world are oppressed because of the color of their skin, their ethnic origin or sex is unacceptable in the value systems of decent people. But has this admirable line of thought been hijacked and manipulated by people who do not really care about protecting universal rights but instead are using it as leverage against other people?
You need only to read the news and ask yourself “what is the world coming to?” There is so much injustice going on in the world and particularly in the Middle East. But it seems that most of the so-called “human rights groups” are blind to that because of their obsession with the Jewish State of Israel. How many can claim to be truly objective – only concerned with people and not politically motivated?
Let’s review just a few of the facts.
In Egypt, foreign journalists are groped, molested and raped in public view by mobs holding demonstrations calling for democracy. If this is how western guests in that country are treated, one can only imagine how they must treat their own – but then again, no imagination is needed. Just Google the words “women Egypt street” and you will see that in Egypt, modestly dressed Islamic women are stripped, beaten and stomped on by soldiers wearing combat boots. What international sanctions are being suggested for Egypt? Are international human rights groups calling to boycott their exports? Will rights groups call on the USA to reconsider its flow of billions of dollars in foreign aid to this country that has elected the Muslim Brotherhood to its government?
What about the little “peaceful” island of Bahrain whose streets have become a war zone in which civilians are abducted and beaten regularly? Are human rights groups considering sending a flotilla of aid there – or perhaps to the little girls in Yemen who are being forced to marry and satisfy older men? Not to mention the dancing boys of Afghanistan who are made to please men of means in a society ostensibly being protected by the American armed forces and western powers?
Has the world blinked an eye at the oppression of the people of Kurdistan, occupied and oppressed by Turkey, Iran, Syria and Iraq? Did Human Rights groups petition the USA to assist the Kurds while they controlled Iraq? Are Turkish products being taken off of shelves of grocery stores in solidarity with the Kurdish people who are oppressed in their own land?
With no love for Ghadaffi, I still ponder what significant action was taken to protect the people of Libya after the world witnessed the public lynching of its former dictator. Reported incidents have included detention of international journalists and rape as punishment to supporters of opposing sides in that civil war. Would the west withhold its support for those involved?
What is being done for Saudi women who are being jailed for the crime of driving? Are Saudi representatives heckled in universities or their public events crashed by inspiring flash mob dancers? Can nothing be done? Or are these issues just not important enough to those who pose as human rights enthusiasts and crusade against Israel?
If it weren’t so sad, it would be funny to see the mockery of the human rights agenda as evidenced in Syria over the past year. Every week, hundreds of citizens are being massacred by the Syrian army and semi-official gangs of thugs under Bashar Assad’s regime. The international community stands by – looking to anyone else but themselves, wondering what to do. Apparently, international Human Rights organizations and activists take comfort in the idea that countries like Saudi Arabia (mentioned above for their own “high standard” of Human Rights) would be the ones to send objective observers to determine how bad the situation is in Syria and plan appropriate corrective action. The Arab League observers, fumbling with their out of date cell phones and asking oppressed residents to lend them pens and paper made the Keystone Kops look like an elite unit of professional investigators.
Founder and long time director of HRW, Robert Bernstein, has already voiced his concern that the human rights movement has lost its way and become a tool to bash Israel.
Has anyone bothered to consider improvements to the standard of living for the Palestinians under Israel’s control? Visit any Israeli hospital and you will find many Palestinians enjoying Israeli medical care. General infrastructure for all Arab towns in Israel – Judea and Samaria included – has greatly improved under Israel’s control. Roads, water and electric lines, even the majority of private homes in these areas have been built through Israel’s support. But so-called human rights services choose to focus on the negative and manipulate reality in order to draw the picture as if, of all places in the world, the Arabs under Israel’s control are in need of the most attention.
Israel strives to continue to improve the standard of living for all of its citizens and residents. But Israel is not in a position to ignore ongoing threats to the security of its people. Security checkpoints are an inconvenience forced on the population , not by the government or army, but by the terrorists who travel in ambulances, pretending to be sick and then lash out in demented attacks once they get through. Check the news; this happened again just yesterday. Obviously, the key to raising the standard of living in Israel for all is an end to terrorism. That can be accomplished through protective measures by Israel’s military when needed and civic leadership on all sides when possible.
David Ha’ivri is the director of the Shomron Liaison Office. He and his wife Mollie live in Kfar Tapuach, Shomron with their eight children. You can follow him on Twitter @haivri